Happy Friday, and welcome back to the Weekly Download! Head into the sunny sunshine this weekend with a digital news roundup.
On today’s agenda:
OpenAI’s new Bug Bounty program, the latest on TikTok’s fate in the U.S., a notable news outlet steps away from Twitter, LinkedIn’s new verification solution to beat fake accounts, and more, plus a little Friday fun.
OpenAI’s new Bug Bounty program will reward people for finding system bugs
Have a knack for spotting bugs? You’re in luck!
OpenAI’s new Bug Bounty program will reward people between $200 and $20,000 for finding bugs within ChatGPT, OpenAI plugins, and other related services.
We’re launching the OpenAI Bug Bounty Program — earn cash awards for finding & responsibly reporting security vulnerabilities. https://t.co/p1I3ONzFJK
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) April 11, 2023
The announcement of the new program follows weeks of widespread concern about the platform, related to user privacy, factual accuracy, and potential harm to minors.
As we reported last week, ChatGPT has been banned in Italy, and a complaint has been filed to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for the misinformation risks the tool poses, particularly to children. In Canada, the federal privacy watchdog is launching an investigation into ChatGPT following a complaint regarding “the collection, use and disclosure of personal information without consent.”
The Bug Bounty program will reward users based on bug severity, but there are several lengthy stipulations about what will not be rewarded. You can check out more about the program here.
Ban or no ban? TikTok’s fate in the U.S. is still unclear
We’re still not sure how things are going to shake out with TikTok in the United States, and the news has been relatively quiet this week, but we’re sharing a great roundup from the New York Times here in case you’re looking for all key information in one spot.
If you’ve wondered why lawmakers are eager to ban the highly popular social platform, it basically comes down to data security. A slew of countries, including Canada, have already prohibited the app from government devices, and on March 1, a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance legislation that would allow President Biden to ban TikTok from all devices nationwide, based on concerns regarding sensitive user data and the Chinese government.
How would a nationwide ban work?
According to the New York Times, it will be challenging, and there could be legal challenges on First Amendment grounds without very strong proof for a nationwide ban. But Montana is close to becoming the country’s first state to ban TikTok entirely.
Hang tight and check back with us next week for more updates on this evolving story.
NPR quits Twitter over social media account label
National Public Radio is stepping away from Twitter after the social media platform’s recent move to add account labels that NPR says are meant to undermine its credibility.
“NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” NPR said in a statement.
Last week, Twitter added a label to NPR’s main account, calling it “state-affiliated media,” a label used for media outlets that are controlled or heavily influenced by authoritarian governments. Twitter later modified the label to read “government-funded media.”
NPR says it will remain active on other social media platforms and review other channels for use.
Will NPR’s platform exit be the first among multiple well-known media outlets? According to some media analysts, growing animosity between Twitter and news organizations since Elon Musk’s takeover is bad for the company and bad for the public.
LinkedIn offers a new verification solution to beat fake accounts
In an effort to beat the rise of fake accounts we’ve seen on almost every social media platform lately, this week LinkedIn announced a set of new verification features that allow users to authenticate aspects of their identities and work histories.
“Through all these new, free features, we’re helping give you the confidence that who you’re connecting with and the content you come across is trusted and authentic,” said Oscar Rodriguez, LinkedIn’s vice president of product management.
Users will now have three different options to verify their identity and current jobs on LinkedIn. The first and easiest way to verify your current employer is by receiving a security code on your work email and entering it into LinkedIn. The second option and third options use third-party verification systems called Clear and Entra, which may not be available to all users depending on their location.
Twitter’s legacy blue checkmarks to disappear for good on April 20
After April 1 came and went but many blue legacy checkmarks remained, people wondered if anything would really happen to previously verified notable accounts on Twitter. Now, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk, these legacy blue checks will disappear once and for all on April 20, following a “grace period” for users to opt in to Twitter Blue.
As we reported last week, subscriptions to Twitter Blue thus far have been dismal, with just 12,305 of roughly 420,000 legacy verified accounts moving to the paid plan as of last Tuesday.
Perhaps in an effort to boost subscriptions, Twitter is also introducing 10,000-character tweets for Twitter Blue subscribers, in addition to support for bold and italic text formatting.
We’re making improvements to the writing and reading experience on Twitter! Starting today, Twitter now supports Tweets up to 10,000 characters in length, with bold and italic text formatting.
Sign up for Twitter Blue to access these new features, and apply to enable…
— Twitter Write (@TwitterWrite) April 14, 2023
Are you considering registering for Twitter Blue? Or have you already subscribed? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for a couple of fun follows on this fine Friday?